Always on the move
An interview with Enrico Rava

Image Credits: Enrico Rava © Leonardo Schiavone

June 19, 2017
Enduring and tireless traveller, we have interviewed Enrico Rava in the break between the tour with Gery Allen and the one with Tomasz Stanko. The trumpeter told us his travel experiences, particularly in South-East Asia.
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How did the tour with Geri Allen go?
By now it is almost a fading memory: in the meantime, I went to Ankara with my quartet, in Luxembourg with Joachim Kühn, to Novara with Louis Moholo and to Pisa with Soupstar, Giovanni Guidi’s and Gianluca Petrella’s duo, and so June 2017, which seemed to be a quiet month has really become very intense. I’m now preparing the tour with Tomasz Stanko, and I have to confess that, when I think about it, I almost break up in a sweat: there will be a lot of concerts with very long transfers, and I’m beginning to feel the difficulty of travelling. I’m reaching an age where life should be a bit less busy, even if I’m not complaining, of course.
How do you live the fact that you are always moving from a city to another, always with different projects?
To change city is normal, in fact the real work is the travel; then playing on stage is an amusement and also a “game”. I like to explore different projects because I want to avoid routine and, consequently, to bore myself. If I got bored, I would have no reason to continue playing, I’d rather feed birds in the park. This continuous challenge makes it possible not to repeat a thing for too long, and keeps me young, at least mentally.
What are your memories of Taiwan?
The Taipei Festival, in which I played four years ago was really an incredible surprise; I didn’t expect a so large jazz community, thousands of people attended the concert, and I think I signed at least 100 records of mine, a fact by which I was very surprised: usually, when it gets good, you sign 5 or 6 copies. The same thing happened in Seoul, also in Korea there are a lot of jazz fans. It’s a pleasure for me to know that there are people buying records, listening to them, and that are therefore prepared and demanding listeners, also because we are talking about niche music. In Taiwan I had no occasion to visit the island because I left the day after, a real pity.
What about China?
When I arrived in Beijing in 1986, I thought I would have seen everybody riding a bicycle dressed in Mao suit, but of course that was a cliché I had in my mind; I remember that there was a very heavy car traffic, almost “devilish”. On the contrary Shanghai, even in that time, was incredible, it was as if it was growing before my eyes. China is very beautiful and for us it was a huge discover. I went to Hong Kong when it was still English, very different from now, for example the floating city does not exist anymore, which was very characteristic. A very important thing I care a lot during the tours is to have good meals and eat well, as it makes the continuous travels tolerable, and naturally, in that, the South-East Asia is a special place.
How was it to play in 2016 with Mission Formosa, the mixed Italian-Taiwanese quartet?
It’s a project by Giuseppe Bassi, the Italian double bass player. I have to say that all musicians are very good and very prepared.
Would you like to go back to Asia?
Of course, with pleasure. After all, I just played in Japan and Singapore.

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